Sunday, September 21, 2008

Disney's Bad Idea: Stay Home and Watch TV Week

Here's some logic for you; save gas by staying home this week. What's that? You wouldn't know what to do with yourself if you stay home? Well, luckily Disney and ABC have the answer for you! Watch TV! Wont that be great? I bet you couldn't have thought of that! And guess what? It's the premier week for Disney channel's new lineup. What an amazing coincidence.

As someone who stopped watching TV years ago, I find this particular promotion ludicrous. It's like suggesting we all go on a jelly-donut diet.

The Center for Screen-Time Awareness hosts an annual TV-turnoff week every Spring, and in light of the announcement from Disney, they are proposing an additional week in the Fall. What does this mean?

It means they would like to challenge you and your family to go TV and game free for one or more days beginning today, September 21. From their website:

Why Turn Off?
Screen Time cuts into family time and is a leading cause of obesity in both adults and children. Excessive use of screens for recreational purposes leads to a more sedentary and solitary lifestyle and that is unhealthy for all of us, both mentally and physically.
On average, people watch 4 hours of television and then spend another 4 plus hours with computers, games, video, iPods and cell phones. According to Nielsen, the average World of Warcraft gamer plays for 892 minutes per week! The company that owns Second Life (a virtual world) claims that its users spent over 1 million hours on line. These statistics hold true for children directed sites as well, including Webkinz and others.

What's So Great about Turnoff Week?
Turning off the screen gives us time to think, read, create, and do the things we never have time for. This allows us to connect with our families and engage in our communities. We feel good about ourselves as we grow more physicaly and mentally active.

Turnoff Week Works!
According to hundreds of responses to our Turnoff Week follow-up surveys, 90 percent of responding participants reduced their screen time as a result of participating.

My kids like Webkinz, and Drama Girl is getting obsessed with a virtual online world called Dizzywood. This week, like most weeks, they will not participate in any of these until the weekend. We will read our email, they will do homework, and I will blog during the couple of hours after they've gone to bed. No TV, no wii, no DS, no DVDs for anybody.

Not sure you want to do this? Here's some more information:
So what's it going to be for you this week? How about "take a walk every night after dinner week" or "play all the board games in the closet week" or "look eachother in the eye and talk week?" I think we can find better ways to save energy than by having TV sets on all week.

16 people stopped folding laundry to write:

Laura said...

I almost didn't respond because I know very well that I watch too much TV. I can most definitely cut down on my viewing time this week.

I can also talk to my students about doing the same. (Frankly, I think most of them are too busy to watch much, but sometimes I am alarmed at WHAT they watch.)

Needle, Thimble and Thread said...

In May I challenged my husband to turn of the satellite connection for tv. The deal was if our quality of family time wasn't improved he could turn it back on. It is still off, and now we watch dvd movies on the weekend.

His favorite show begins in January, and hopefully he will come to realize that the cost of family time isn't worth turning the satellite back on.

Thanks for a great post!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

We unplug every weekday. No TV. Mom, Dad, and Laura. And on weekends? Mostly unplugged. We might DVR a show during the week to watch together, but mostly we do stuff together. So? I'm on board with your plan. Also? The jelly donut diet is an intriguing idea! Hee hee. ;-)

Gail said...

It figures that Disney would want that. We are a "mostly" tv-less household. We watch DVD's only, and I only allow one or two kiddie ones a day -- though mostly that's while they are waiting for lunch or dinner to get ready. They rarely watch a whole DVD.

My first marriage was to a guy who thought that the tv needed to be on 24/7 (which drove me nuts even then), so consequently my teenage boys think they need to watch all the time. One is adjusting as he lives here with me, but the other is still addicted.

I'm on board for this week. I'll be leaving the tv off even during meal preps. Thanks for posting about Disney. I'll let others know too! :)

owlfan said...

We've done the turn off the TV week for years now. At first it was hard for the kids, but now they watch almost no TV. But we don't have cable/satellite and when we go someplace that does have it, they are total TV addicts. Every time I think maybe we could get cable for some of the few interesting things on there, I remember the zombies my kids turn into and just say NO.

Lest you think we are all virtuous, we're not. My whole family is addicted to the internet. We have tried the no computer week, but haven't done so well on it. We do need to check email, and once on the computer, it is just too tempting to look at something else.

polkadot said...

I've gotten into the bad habit of letting my preschoolers watch "Playhouse Disney" while I clean in the mornings. They go to school 11-2, so I always justify it by thinking they will be challenged there/play etc.

I think we WILL turn it off this week!

debi9kids said...

UGH! How very annoying! I can't stand the idea of my kids watching any more tv than they already do! We gave up the tv for the whole summer, with the exception of Friday movie nights. It was just wonderful seeing them actually playing and using their imaginations (and spending quality time with the family)

Amy said...

yep we need to cut down our tv time too, I'd actually love to get rid of cable altogether but my dh watches it.

Carissa(GoodnCrazy) said...

Yeah...TV isn't the problem around here....movies, computer time those are what kill us...erm..ME.

Anonymous said...

Granted, we only watch a few hours of TV a week, the Little Imp is all too excited over stuff on PBS Kids and Nick Jr. It's to the point where, and keep in mind she's ONLY two, she knows when the shows come on, in what order, and she can sing the themsongs, or at least hum them, from almost all of them. And we only let her watch 90 minutes a day! It's never the same time frame, but it's been going on long enough that she's picked up as much as she had.

It's a bit scary. We have a ton of DVD's for little ones, and I think we are going to unplug from cable, and possibly from TV altogether, for a while. We'll see how long it lasts.

Great post!

Anonymous said...

We turned off the tv last spring. I need to get stronger and do it again. I like a few shows and I allow a half hour of tv while I cook dinner. There's no reason for it except I'm lazy and don't want to deal with tired, cranky children.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for blogging about this. I am glad that the news of this ridiculous marketing tactic is getting out there.

A completely TV-free life is not for all and that's OK, but I think it is good to inform people of corporate manipulations. I hope people give a TV-free week a try. As you know, reducing or eliminating TV is not so bad!

By the way, I love your jelly-donut analogy! Well said!

Anne Keisman Cissel said...

Thanks so much for sharing this article. If any of you are looking for stuff to do instead of watching TV, check out Green Hour, which has easy activities in the park or the backyard.

Dena said...

OK I have to admit I let the kids watch way too much TV. It's all PBS, but still...I know most of the time it's background noise more than they're actually watching it but I never really thought about it. I figured because it's "educational" TV then it's ok.
This perfect mom thing just keeps getting further and further out of reach....

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Holly said...

Thanks for commenting on my post about Take a Child Outside Week! I hadn't heard about "stay home week" until you pointed out this post. I don't have anything against TV, but too much is definitely a bad thing. However, going outside is always a great thing!

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